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In email, West calls Wasserman Schultz "vile," "despicable"

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla. (left), and Rep. Allen West, R-Fla. (right). Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

In an invective personal email sent Tuesday night, Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., lambasted fellow Florida Congress member Debbie Wasserman Schultz and accused her of being "vile," "unprofessional," "despicable" and "not a Lady."

The email was in response to comments Wasserman Schultz made on the House floor during Tuesday's debate over the GOP debt limit plan, during which she said it was "unbelievable" that "the gentleman from Florida, who represents thousands of Medicare beneficiaries as do I, is supportive of this plan that would increase costs for Medicare beneficiaries."

Wasserman Schultz did mention West by name in her remarks.

West, in his email to the congresswoman, called on her to "stop being a coward and say it to my face."

"Look, Debbie, I understand that after I departed the House floor you directed your floor speech comments directly towards me," West wrote in the email, obtained by CBS News. "Let me make myself perfectly clear, you want a personal fight, I am happy to oblige. You are the most vile, unprofessional, and despicable member of the US House of Representatives. If you have something to say to me, stop being a coward and say it to my face, otherwise, shut the heck up. Focus on your own congressional district!"

He continues: "You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!"

In a statement Tuesday night, a spokesperson for Wasserman Schultz suggested that West's anger might be misdirected.

"I don't think that Congressman West is upset at the Congresswoman, but rather with the fact that she highlighted that he and other Republicans are once again trying to balance the budget on the backs of seniors, children and the middle class," said Jonathan Beeton, communications director for Wasserman Schultz. "As someone who lives in Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz's Congressional district, Congressman West knows that we have hundreds of thousands of seniors in South Florida who have paid into Medicare throughout their lives and now rely on this program to keep them healthy and active."

As to the Florida Republican's thoughts on Wasserman Schultz's gender propriety, Beeton told Hotsheet, "I think that speaks for itself."

West, in the meantime, is standing by his comments. In a statement Tuesday night,  his spokeswoman criticized Wasserman Schultz for taking a "cowardly cheap shot at Congressman West conveniently after he had just left the House floor speaking on the Cut, Cap and Balance bill."

"Congressman West contacted Congresswoman Wasserman-Schultz directly, as well as bipartisan House leadership to express his concern with her comments and the low level she has chosen to stoop to attack Congressman West," said West's communications director, Angela Sachitano. "The Congresswoman's actions were unprofessional and cowardly. The constituents in Florida see Congressman West as a true leader and a man of principle while Congresswoman Wasserman-Schultz is once again viewed as politics as usual, and her true character sadly shown today."

Read the full text of West's email to Wasserman Schultz below:

From: Z112 West, Allen

Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2011 04:48 PM

To: Wasserman Schultz, Debbie

Cc: McCarthy, Kevin; Blyth, Jonathan; Pelosi, Nancy; Cantor, Eric

Subject: Unprofessional and Inappropriate Sophomoric Behavior from Wasserman-Schultz

Look, Debbie, I understand that after I departed the House floor you directed your floor speech comments directly towards me. Let me make myself perfectly clear, you want a personal fight, I am happy to oblige. You are the most vile, unprofessional ,and despicable member of the US House of Representatives. If you have something to say to me, stop being a coward and say it to my face, otherwise, shut the heck up. Focus on your own congressional district!

I am bringing your actions today to our Majority Leader and Majority Whip and from this time forward, understand that I shall defend myself forthright against your heinous characterless behavior......which dates back to the disgusting protest you ordered at my campaign hqs, October 2010 in Deerfield Beach.

You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!

Steadfast and Loyal

Congressman Allen B West (R-FL)

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